Rural, off-grid, homesteading opportunity. Older couple looking for other committed, hard working, energetic people to share our way of life with. We are hoping that by sharing our knowledge and skills, as well as our land, we will create a healthy, vibrant homesteading community. A collaborative, long-term arrangement is a possibility for the right person or couple. Ultimately, we would like to see a land succession model that allows us to retire in place on our homestead while providing an opportunity for new people interested in this type of lifestyle to access land more affordably.
Position:Homestead residency opportunity
Type: Homesteading work-stay potentially leading to long-term participation in a homesteading community/cooperative/successsional plan
Organization: Ocean Ecology
Location: Port Neville Inlet, British Columbia (northward and across the Johnstone Strait from Sayward on Vancouver Island)
About the Land
Land size: The total size of the property is 49.62 acres. Approximately 40 acres is forested with 21 year old alder, with the remaining 10 acres consisting of old farmland, once cleared, but mostly in bush now.
Land description: The land is gently sloping, south-facing with ocean frontage. The soil is well-drained sandy-loam with some rock. The general soil fertility is modest, but can be greatly enhanced by application of compost and manure.
Water sources: The property has three seasonal creeks. We use a combination of rain water harvesting and storage tanks for water during the summer when the creeks run dry, but a well could probably be successfully dug. The water has not been tested for potability, and we boil all water used for human consumption.
Zoning: The property is zoned RU-3 in the Discovery Islands-Mainland Inlets (Electoral Area ‘C’) area of the Strathcona Regional District.
The following uses are permitted within this zone:
- construction of a single family dwelling with one guest dwelling to a maximum floor area of 80 square metres
- construction of accessory buildings and structures to a maximum coverage of 1% of lot
- use of land, buildings and structures for a home industry, a home sawmill or shakemill, and/or agricultural purposes
The land is not subdividable.
Historical land use: The property is an old homestead dating back to about 1920 or so; however, there are no remaining buildings on the property from this time. The forest has been logged twice – initially hand logged during or before the establishment of the homestead, and then clear-cut in 1998.
Current state of the land: Approximately one-third of the original cultivated land has been cleared and re-homesteaded with a small cabin, vegetable gardens, fruit bushes, and a young orchard. This area is protected from wildlife predation by an electric fence. The remainder of the cultivatable land is in bush. The forest is self-regenerating, and has nice stands of mature alder, along with a good understory of hemlock, cedar, spruce, and some Douglas fir.
Current land practices: The land is being managed for long-term sustainability, based on permaculture principles and other ecologically sound practices.
Long term vision for the land: To develop a self-sustaining homestead which could support two families. This could include agroforestry, sustainable wood-lotting, wild harvest of non-timber forestry resources, development of a food forest, orcharding, vegetable gardening, and small scale livestock husbandry.
Agronomic potential: Limited – this is primarily a sustainable homesteading opportunity, a lifestyle choice rather than a possibility for significant economic gains.
Access: There is no road access to the property. We are 16 miles by water from Sayward (approximately two hours by a boat travelling at 7 knots), and can only be reached by boat or float plane.
Services: The property is completely off-grid. Electricity is generated by solar panel and generator. We do, however, have cell phone and internet service.
Current residents living on property: We live full-time on the property in a small cabin which we built by hand when we moved out to the land. It is our intent to continue living on the property for the remainder of our lives, if possible.
Availability of other buildings on property: Currently, there are no other buildings available on the property. Short term arrangements can be made for living onsite in a tent, yurt, RV, or construction of a small cabin. Long-term arrangements, should the situation prove workable for everyone involved, might involve the construction of a second dwelling on the property.
About the Opportunity
We are nearing retirement age, and hope to live the remainder of our lives on our land while seeing the homestead develop with a successional plan in place. We feel that this property has the potential to support more than one family, and we would be happy to share our way of life with other committed, hard working, energetic people. We are hoping that by sharing our knowledge and skills, as well as our land, we will create a healthy, vibrant homesteading community. If you want more information about us, or our land, please go to our blog at https://oceanecology.ca/wp/category/journal/.
It can take time to find a team that works and lives well together. Therefore, this residency is just the beginning of our effort to find committed people interested in sharing our homestead. A collaborative, long-term arrangement is a possibility for the right person or couple. Ultimately, we would like to see a land succession model that allows us to retire in place on our homestead while providing an opportunity for new people interested in this type of lifestyle to access land more affordably.
The ideal person or couple would be:
- healthy, adventurous, energetic, committed
- looking for a rural, off-grid, homestead environment for reasons of lifestyle rather than economics
- interested in sustainable living and farming according to permaculture principles
- able to support themselves financially in a rural setting (e.g., as writers, computer programmers, web designers, artists, consultants, etc.)
- of good character
- willing to work hard for the first few years to establish themselves on site
Families with children would be welcome. I am a scientist, teacher, and writer, and would be happy to provide assistance with home schooling.
Image: Most recent Bing aerial image of the property.
If this sounds like a good fit for your aspirations, please contact the owners, Barb Faggetter and Kennard Hall:
- by phone at (250) 622-4128 (cell)
- by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will require a resume and a character reference before considering anyone for residency.
Image: False colored ArcGIS Landsat 8 OLI orthorectified panchromatic sharpened image showing property with mature evergreens in orange.